Feb 12, 2013 8:43 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Local pilot speaks exclusively to KSBY about his emergency landing

The local pilot whose plane took a nose dive in Northern San Luis Obispo County on Monday, speaks exclusively to KSBY about how his plane went down.

David Dickey, a 55-year veteran pilot, said he's always loved aviation, so about a month and a half ago, he decided to make his own plane.

"I ordered the aircraft about two years ago from Ohio. A kit, I was the first kit builder. I built this in my garage in Shell Beach," said Dickey.

Dickey said Monday afternoon's sunny weather was the perfect day to take that single-engine experimental Hummel H5 out to the skies, and spread it's wings. An experimental aircraft means it's not a certified aircraft, like a Cessna, for example.

Dickey explains how he took off from Paso Robles Airport before 4pm, and then, "I was gonna fly it to San Luis Obispo, and I got about five miles further south from where we are now [Templeton]."

But then, his amateur aircraft's engine stopped working, right as he was entering Atascadero. Dickey said there was no time for fear to sink in. After notifying the Paso Robles Airport that he needed to make an emergency landing. The next thing he thought of, after he realized he could no longer fly the plane, was where to land it.

"And then I noticed the power lines were draped all over the place, so I went ahead and decided to take an in, and my straight in shot was in the, what I thought was the sandy shore river. Unfortunately it was the sandbar. Not unfortunately, because I did a good landing and I got down safely," said Dickey.

Dickey said he strategically landed in the sand bar at the end of Volpi Ysabel Road, to avoid people and houses. He said he's flown his Hummel H5 before, and doesn't know why the plane's engine stopped. Dickey plans on looking into it once he starts repairing the plane. He expects repairs to cost him around $3,000. Dickey said the plane cost $30,000 to make, and is glad he and the plane came out with only minor injuries.

"I'm very thankful, I think I did everything right," said Dickey.

Dickey suffered an inch-long gash and a burn from his seatbelt, after the plane came to a stop at about 50 miles per hour. He said the plane accident will not keep him away from flying, especially not from flying his beloved Hummel H5.

He said, "I intend to fix the aircraft, and I intend to fly it."

The Federal Aviation Administration said Dickey did not break any laws, and therefore will not be facing any charges. Although it said it is looking into why the plane lost engine power.



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